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Olympics: Tintu Luka finishes sixth in 800m semis



London, Aug 10 (IANS) Indian runner Tintu Luka ran her heart out only to finish sixth in the Olympic women’s 800 metre semifinals while high jumper Sahana Kumari and wrestler Geeta Phogat fell flat at the first hurdle in the games here Thursday.

Tintu, who is coached by legendary athlete P.T. Usha, clocked 1:59.69 seconds. The effort was below her personal best of 1:59.17 seconds she achieved two years ago.

The positive for Tintu was that she kept pace with the lot for most part of the race before running out of steam in the last 200 metres.

South African Caster Semenya, who is making her Olympic debut, won the race in 1:57.67 seconds.

Geeta was out of the Olympics after she lost her first repechage round to Ukraine’s Tetyana Lazareva 3-0 in the women’s 55 kg wrestling event.

She found it extremely tough against the 31-year-old Tetyana, a two-time silver medallist at the World Championship. Geeta lost the first period 3-0 and the second 1-0.

The Indian got into the repechage round after Canadian Tonya Lynn Verbeek, who had defeated her in the first round, went on to qualify for the title clash.

Geeta, the first Indian female wrestler in Olympics, lost 1-3 in the first round to Tonya, a two-time Olympic medallist.

Tonya, 34, was a silver medallist in Athens Olympics and bronze medal winner at the Beijing Games.

The fight was even till round two with both opponents sharing a point each. Verbeek then changed gears in the final round to advance to the quarterfinals.

The Haryana girl was the country’s first-ever gold medal winner in women’s wrestling at the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games.

In track and field, 30-year-old Sahana easily cleared her first high jump of 1.80 metres but had three failed attempts at 1.85 metres that put an end to her campaign.

Sahana, who holds the national record with a lunge of 1.92 metres, could only manage the 15th place in Group B.

Svetlana Radzivil of Uzbekistan was the lone jumper to get an automatic qualification by clearing the 1.96 metre mark.

–Indo-Asian News Service

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